Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In the exquisite timing of spring, morels come up just as the asparagus is ready for cutting--the last week of April.
This patch has been growing for 19 years and we have more than a dozen big feeds off it each spring. It gives and gives and demands little but good mulching.
Last summer I used endless stacks of newspapers, topped and layered with fresh grass clippings. The clippings, raked off the lawn, held the newspapers from blowing away and disguised them from view. Quite a lovely system! It all melted into the soil, and the spears were a snap to find this spring.
Of course the chirren aren't the only people who love hunting morels. Chet Baker comes along. He likes to look for turkles in the morel patches, and we have found three this spring.
Here's the turkle Chet found in our sideyard. We'd never had morels come up there before. What a thrill to find 15 of them raising proud heads in a neglected corner of the yard! and the requisite Guardian Box Turtle to go along with them.
Of course Chet is always on the lookout for squirtles and chiptymunks, too. If there is a log, Chet Baker is on it, scanning the woods.
Bill spotted this gorgeous old gent just crossing a rotted log in a big patch of morels.
This is not a coinkydink.
Here is a photo of turtle depredation on a half-free morel. Chunks are bitten out of cap and stem. We are never annoyed at this, nor have we ever considered taking action. In fact, when we find turkles in our patches, we leave a morel in front of them as a gift to eat after we've gone.
How wonderful it is to have both in our woods, and both at the same time.
We only rarely pick turtles up when we find them. We watch them through binoculars and let them think we never saw them, then walk on. We treat them like Hollywood movie stars, play it cool; we don't run right up to them and gawk or ask them questions. Unless one seems to have a problem, and then it gets a full exam.
Aftermath of a fine afternoon, prelude to a feast!